How The Bizarre Conspiracy Theory Behind “Pizzagate” Was Spread

Let’s be honest with ourselves, the United States is clinically insane. Proof: “Pizzagate” claims that Democratic operatives placing orders at Comet Ping Pong were actually using code to talk about underage prostitutes.

In the past something this bizarre would simply be comedic fodder, but now it’s taken as truth to the point that someone would show up at Comet Ping Pong with an assault rifle to “self-investigate”. This country needs counseling and possibly medication.

Don’t Give Up on the Guitar. Fender Is Begging You

Let’s be honest, learning to play the guitar is hard. Like 90% of beginners quit within a year hard. This hits guitar builders like Fender right in the bottom line. So they’re coming out with lots of apps, gear and more expressly designed to help new players stick with it long enough to get some momentum going.

Still there are no guarantees. I’ve been playing guitar since I was a teen and despite decades of lessons I’m still not very good.

Three Myths About Clinton’s Defeat in Election 2016 Debunked

Three Myths About Clinton’s Defeat in Election 2016 Debunked: Racism, Sexism and Stupidity.

I’d add Electoral College as it’s the current bete noir, but three is probably enough. But what it comes down to is: Clinton and the Democrats ran a terrible campaign. Once all the smoke settles, I hope people realize that and refuse to let it happen again.

Update: Two More Myths About Clinton’s Defeat in Election 2016 Debunked

Journalism’s delivery system, not the coverage itself, is broken – Columbia Journalism Review

Columbia Journalism Review believes that Journalism’s delivery system, not the coverage itself, is broken.

Let me make this point through an analogy. A trial usually consists two competing legal arguments, both grounded in facts, otherwise known as evidence. What if technology suddenly allowed 50 different lawyers to present competing narratives to the jury? And what if evidence requirements were eliminated, such that some of the lawyers presented their arguments based on traditional evidentiary standards, while others felt liberated to make things up. Would we blame the jury members if they were unable to render an informed verdict?

This analogy seems plausible on the surface, but the evidence requirements part is where it falls apart. During a trial lawyers present all kinds of evidence, including some that may or may not be true. When that happens and when that untruth is detected we don’t blame the court, we blame the lawyers who presented it. Those lawyers may face civil penalties as well as penalties from their bar association both of which will affect their ability to continue to work in law.

So I offer an alternative opinion: Journalism is broken, period. It missed the transition from a heavily-controlled trickle of information via print, television and radio to an uncontrolled torrent that the end-user gets to filter. Journalists are no longer in charge of determining what’s true and false, we are. If anything, the delivery system has never worked better in human history.

President Trump: How America Got It So Wrong

Neither of the major parties really understood what was really going on. The Republicans will technically be in power for the next eight years or so but whether or not that will matter remains to be seen. The Democrats have lost the presidency, both houses of Congress and most governorships. Trump listened to no one but himself, did what he wanted and made both parties look like idiots for ignoring him.

Trump is not beholden to any party and owes no one anything. He will do and say what comes to his mind without concern for consequences and the GOP will grit its teeth and smile and hope Trump doesn’t notice them.

Meanwhile, the Democrats will do what they usually do and pretend to clean house while doing the absolute opposite. Of course, there’s already talk and online petitions (ha ha) over abolishing the Electoral College with total ignorance of the difficulty in getting a Constitutional Amendment through all 50 states (required since the College is part of the Constitution). Because it’s not the party that’s the problem, it’s the Constitution.

It can happen here

It’s almost comforting to say that such and such won’t happen here in the United States because we have laws or “checks and balances” and the like. But that’s based on faith. Faith that those who administer those laws and are part of those checks and balances will do their jobs as they’re supposed to. But there’s no reason to believe that’s true.